You probably wouldn’t know it from checking our local media outlets, but Georgia Power, the state’s largest electric utility, is at the center of one of the biggest consumer shakedowns in state history – and there could be more bad news on the way.
Dale Ross is fond of saying that a business decision is at the root of the plan in Georgetown, Texas to switch over to 100 percent solar and wind energy in 2017. Ross says renewable energy is a better deal for residents of the city he serves as mayor.
A settlement reached by the owners and contractors who are developing two nuclear plants at Plant Vogtle is expected to enable state utility regulators to certify the higher costs estimates and schedule announced earlier this year.
Atlanta intends to generate solar power and sell it to Georgia Power through a planned public-private partnership with a Chicago-based energy firm.
The Atlanta City Council on Monday authorized Mayor Kasim Reed to enter negotiations with New Generation Power, Inc. Terms call for a 20-year ground lease with the solar company, and for the firm to deliver, install and maintain photovoltaic panels and related equipment.
The city intends to lease land for solar farms at three landfills, which are closed, and at two sites at Atlanta’s airport, according to provisions of the legislation. The company is to pay all costs associated with the project, and its website says it has funds available through its shareholders, partners, and lending institutions.
Georgia’s utility regulator made the right decision in allowing Georgia Power to raise rates to pay for power plant upgrades before the work is complete, according to former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman.
“What that does is prevent a cliff from developing, where you have to recover costs all at once,” Whitman said. “We have aging infrastructure. That’s a challenge everyone is facing across the country.”
Whitman spoke with SaportaReport.com discuss her concerns about a guest column on solar power. The conversation covered a variety of policy issues related to the nation’s power supply and delivery system.
Young Georgia voters strongly favor the proposed Georgia Power rate hike and fewer than half support shifting from coal to renewables to generate electricity, according to a results of a poll by the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club.
The polling company advised against reading too much into results from the millennials because the margin of error for the age bracket is 13.2 percent, compared to 3.23 percent for the total poll. The broader results of the poll show widespread opposition to the proposed rate hike and strong support for shifting away from coal-fired power plants.
Georgia Power is requesting to hike its rates in order to raise $873 million. Georgia’s Public Service Commission is slated to vote on the proposal Dec. 17, following a decision Thursday morning by a PSC committee to schedule the matter for a vote by the full commission.
The Atlanta Regional Commission is embarking on its first reorganization in a generation, in order to meet the demands of the post-recession paradigm that’s emerging from the public and private sectors.
Silos of expertise are to be replaced by collaborative teams. An example of the new approach would be for ARC planners to examine mobility rather than transportation – a shift that frames the issue in a fashion that begs for broader solutions.
“Because we are changing in so many ways as a region, ARC realizes we have to be more adaptable to help local governments solve more problems,” said Doug Hooker, ARC’s executive director.